Aztecs Rally to Edge Laguna 38-34
Laguna suffered from some poor tackling during the first half last Friday, Sept. 1, in Garden Grove, digging a 17-7 deficit against La Quinta (1-0) in a contest played at Bolsa Grande High School.
Breakers trailed 24-7 before they finally began to play ball. Nearly midway through the third period, the team took a run to take the lead at 34-30 off a nifty pass from Curtis Harrison to Jack Strickland that went 16 yards for the score with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game. The Breakers missed on a two-point conversion try, but held a four-point advantage. In less than a minute, La Quinta’s quarterback, Michael Nadeau, engineered their 65-yard, five-play winning drive with some remarkable pass plays. It included a 45-yard, cross-field toss that was received over the shoulder on the Breaker one-yard line.
The tough ending after what appeared to be a brilliant comeback for Laguna may serve as a reminder not to take anyone lightly. The victory by the Aztecs was their first against Laguna since 2004 and their fourth in the 14-game series.
Junior Sean Nolan had a big night with six catches and 126 yards, two punt returns and six kickoff returns. Curtis Harrison threw four touchdown passes. That increases his career total to 31, third on the all-time Laguna career list and passing Pat Wood (1992-93) and Alex Wilson (2001-03).
Q – 5 run (kick) 4:46 1st Q
L – Nolan 13 pass from Harrison (Handel kick) 1:47 1st Q
Q – 34 FG 9:42 2nd Q
Q – 15 run (kick) 2:19 2nd Q
Q – 3 run (kick) 8:39 3rd Q
L – Wenk 35 pass from Harrison (Handel kick) 6:42 3rd Q
Q – 1 run (kick wide) 0:45 3rd Q
L – Armstrong 65 pass from Harrison (Handel kick) 0:23 3rd Q
L – Harrison 11 run (Handel kick) 6:58 4th Q
L – Strickland 16 pass from Harrison (pass failed) 1:22 4th Q
Q – 1 run (run) 0:23 4th Q
Rushing: Harrison 11-23, Castillo 2-4, Lythgoe 4-11, Wenk 1-9, Team 1-(12)
Receiving: Armstrong 4-120, Nolan 6-126, Lythgoe 1-10, Strickland 1-16, Wenk 1-35
Passing: Harrison 26-14-1 312, 4 TDs 197.7 rating
Punt Returns – Nolan 2-17, Team 1-0
Kick Off Returns Nolan 6-157
PUNTS Nolan 4-177 33.3 average
Kick Offs Handel 6, 1 Touchback
Breakers travel 98 miles to compete with Big Bear this weekend. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. for the first day game since 2003 when the Breakers lost at Tesoro. The last win during the day was also in 2003, when the Breakers defeated Palos Verdes at their field.
Big Bear is also a Division 12 school and is 1-1 this season. They are members of the small-school Cross Valley League along with Silver Valley, Excelsior Charter, and Riverside Prep, which are located in the high desert. The Bears do have talent in quarterback Chase Dowty. For those not making the trek, listen to the contest live at www.kx935.com.